We’re just a few days away from the Great Fresno Tweetup, our annual gathering of the Twittersphere with the Fresno Grizzlies. All the basic details were already announced, but here are a few cool updates:
On Tuesday afternoon, we’re having a downtown scavenger hunt (#DowntownScavengerHunt?) and the winner will get to throw out the first pitch at Thursday’s game. The first clue will come via Twitter, so watch @fresnobeehive and @fresnogrizzlies for that.
More fun: The Beehive is also hosting “Amazing Race — Tweetup Style” within the confines of Chukchansi Park. Space is limited to five teams of two. If you want to compete, let me know either by leaving a comment or tweeting me. It’ll start at 6:15 p.m.
Since Thursday is ArtHop and JazzHop, we’re adding a little bit of both our event. We’ll have live music from Patrick Contreras and art from Adam Valentino. Music starts at 6 p.m., when the gates open and beer sales start.
Depending on your age, you probably either know Blythe Danner for films like “The Great Santini” or as the mother of Gwyneth Paltrow. She can currently be seen in the new romance movie “The Lucky One,” a film that is designed to appeal to all ages.
Danner’s also gaining a following for her TV commercial for the drug Prolia. She explains that it’s purpose is to treat osteoporosis in women after menopause. In the commercial, she starts talking about the drug after someone offers her the old theater adage of “break a leg” before she goes on stage. It’s hard to turn on the television and not see the advertisement.
“I’ve started to have people walk up to me on the street and tell me ‘Break a leg.’ I’m sure there are a lot of people ready to say “Enough!’, especially the men I know. They tell me they have to watch the commercial every five minutes,” Danner says. “I’ve only seen it once. I guess that means either I don’t watch much TV or haven’t been on those stations.”
Paltrow’s proud she did the commercial because until now osteoporosis in women after menopause has been “a silent disease.”
This isn’t the only project Danner’s passionate about as she continues to talk a lot about oral cancer prevention. Her husband, Bruce Paltrow, died from it 10 years ago. Even though there is less smoking, there is still a push is to get children who are prepubescent to get the shots because the incidents of oral cancer continue to rise. One factor suggested for the increase is the rise in oral sex.
It’s not all health talk. She also chats about romance movies, working with her daughter and her long career. I can’t help it but when the actress stands up to leave after the interview, I tell her “to break a leg.”
Full of warmth and lots of pluck, the Good Company Players production of “Grace & Glorie” gives two local beloved community-theater veterans a chance to shine.
Mary Piona is Grace, an elderly woman living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She’s dying and has checked herself out of the hospital to spend her last days in her modest cottage. Laurie Pessano is Gloria (immediately dubbed “Glorie” by Grace), the Hospice worker case worker who arrives on the scene.
The two women are radically different, which sets up a sentimental odd-couple scenario. Grace is illiterate and never saw the world, while the Harvard-educated Gloria is a self-assured career woman. Despite the gulf in their generations and backgrounds, however — which offers a chance for some amusingly gruff banter and fish-out-of-water humor as the city-smart Gloria has to learn to light a stove — there’s a lot more binding the women together than is first evident.
In that sense, author Tom Ziegler delivers what you’d expect in a touching, opposites-attract experience such as this. While the direction of this production could have been stronger in some regards, there’s a lot of heart and feeling on stage.
DJ Kay Rich — who is a busy DJ around town and who helms the Homegrown show on B95 — has been busy working on the “Cen Cal Everything” project, which showcases the Valley’s young hip-hop scene. Since taking over Homegrown, Kay Rich has done a good job of rallying and unifying the rappers of the 559, so this project is encouraging to hear about.
Here’s a trailer for “Cen Cal Everything,” which drops as a free download in May and includes music from Draft, Halo the Human, L!Z and, as you’ll see, various others.
p.s. It’s been a miiiiiinute (OK, four year) since we did a FresTube post. I thought they would be good to bring back. Cool?
Back from Broadway: I was only in New York City for four nights (after arriving on a red-eye), but I managed to pack in a lot: five shows, four museums and my Columbia grad school reunion. Hey, it’s the city that never sleeps, right? I kept my Beehive Facebook readers up to date on my cultural activities, but here’s a little more detail on the shows I saw plus several museum exhibitions:
“GHOST: THE MUSICAL,” Lunt-Fontanne Theatre: I like to see shows in previews because 1) it’s easier to get tickets; and 2) it’s fun to be ahead of the curve. So I snapped up a last-minute discount mezzanine seat to the musical adaptation of the 1990 movie. The show is slavishly faithful to the musical, right down to the iconic pottery scene, but what stands out isn’t the storyline, which teeters between cheesy and affecting, but the over-the-top scenic design. Basically the whole stage is smothered in massive video screens — including the back and side walls — with many on moveable panels that slide, swoop and fold out. (The audience is bombarded with graphics, rapidly changing colors, big blocks of text and even video of the dancers complementing the live ones on stage.) Pretty impressive stuff, but there’s a price to pay for all that complexity: With half an hour to go in the show, I watched as two of the big movable panels crashed into each other, bringing the production to a grinding halt. (It started about 20 minutes later.) As bad luck would have it for the show, I was there the same night as the New York Times and Daily News critics. They were harsh on the music and the chemistry between leads Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy, and made a few cracks about the scenic mishap, of course. Dazzled as I was by the visuals, I felt a little more kindly toward the experience. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, I really wanted the show to start again after the scenery mishap. (Which I guess is a much better sign than wanting to bolt for the door.)
“Two and a Half Men,” 9 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1): The departure of Charlie Sheen from the CBS Monday-night comedy was such a nasty affair, the only way he would ever make a return to the show is over his own dead body.
That sort of happens tonight.
After Alan (Jon Cryer) suffers a minor heart attack, he’s visited in the hospital by Charlie’s ghost. No, Sheen doesn’t return to offer words of wisdom from beyond. It is Academy Award winner Kathy Bates, who takes time away from her NBC series “Harry’s Law,” portraying the departed Charlie Harper.
It would have been nice to see Sheen back on the show. But, the idea of Bates playing Charlie is a far more interesting casting.